Five arrested for 'celebrating' URA's death

Last Updated 23 August 2014, 19:52 IST

In a swift action, the Mudigere police in Chikmagalur district on Saturday arrested five BJP and pro-Hindutva activists for ‘celebrating’ the death of Jnanapith award winning Kannada literary giant U R Ananthamurthy on Friday. 

The police, after filing First Information Report against the accused, released them on bail.

The arrests were made within hours of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in Mysore, warning against such macabre ‘celebrations’, saying it amounted to showing disrespect to a titan as URA. The accused, as a group, had gathered in a public place and burst crackers to express their jubilation over the death. 

The accused are Kannenahalli Bharath, former Gram Panchayat member, Praveen Poojary, BJP Yuva Morcha president, Mudigere, Hullemane Chandru, president of Hindu Jagarana Vedike, Mudigere, Hallibail Girish and Beejavalli Bharath, both BJP workers, according to police.

State BJP president Pralhad Joshi, on Friday, while condemning the celebrations, had claimed that the miscreants do not belong to his party. 

The FIR has been filed under Section 143 (unlawful assembly), Section 147 (rioting) and Section 290 (public nuisance). 

The ‘celebrations’ were held in Kadri and Car Street of Mangalore, besides in neighbouring Surathkal too on Friday. A group of people were found distributing sweets as well.

Kadri Police Inspector T D Nagaraj said that an FIR has been filed against the miscreants, but the accused have not been identified. No arrests have been made either.

Condemning the act, members of the Congress party and various organisations had staged a protest in Mangalore City on Saturday demanding action against the offenders under the Goonda Act. Some of them had reportedly covered their faces while bursting crackers. 

While the chief minister had said that such behaviour on the part of the pro-Hindu activists displayed their ‘vicious mindset’, Health Minister U T Khader, a native of Mangalore, tendered an apology on behalf of his district people.

 The ugly display of intolerance towards URA has drawn criticism from Kannada writers and his fans. 

(Published 23 August 2014, 19:52 IST)

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